Kyle Kirkwood joins Vasser Sullivan for Endurance Cup

Kirkwood Vasser Sullivan
David John Griffin/Getty Images
0 Comments

Kyle Kirkwood rounds out the four driver lineup for Vasser Sullivan’s No. 14 Lexus RC F GT3 for the Endurance Cup Championship races, beginning with the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona.

“We obviously have a ton of confidence in Kyle,” the team said in a release. “He was an outstanding addition to the team last year and we are very excited and pleased we are able to add him to our Endurance Cup lineup.

“He brings a familiarity with the team and our other drivers and we look forward to even more on-track success this season.”

Kirkwood will race with Jack Hawksworth, Aaron Telitz and Oliver Gavin, who was named as the third driver two weeks ago.

As part of the Endurance Cup roster, Kirkwood will also run the 12 Hours of Sebring, Six Hour of the Glen, and the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta.

HOW AND WHEN TO WATCH THE ROLEX 24: Schedule, TV info, start times, entry lists, more

“I’m ecstatic to come back to Vasser Sullivan in a Lexus RC F GT3 for the endurance rounds of the 2021 season,” Kirkwood said. “The team is constantly excelling and this year everyone has made extreme strides to make sure we have a successful season.

“Our preparation is immense and I am really looking forward to kicking-off the 2021 season at the Roar Before the Rolex 24 this weekend!”

In 2020, Kirkwood raced at Sebring and Road Atlanta for this same organization. The team started both races promisingly third in class, but accidents sidelined them before the end both times.

Kirkwood was behind the wheel of the No. 14 in the 12 Hours of Sebring when Gavin, driving for another team at the time, blew an engine and dumped oil on the track. Unable to avoid the spill, Townsend Bell – driving the sister No. 12 Vasser Sullivan Lexus – and Kirkwood took a hard trip into the barrier. Bell was leading at the time. Kirkwood was running second.

Kirkwood will also race for Andretti Autosport in Indy Lights in 2021.

I am so incredibly excited to get this rolling again in Indy Lights with Andretti Autosport,” Kirkwood said. “Twenty-twenty was an unfortunate year for Indy Lights taking a season hiatus, but it has given us as a team plenty of time to focus towards having a perfect year in 2021.

“Our lineup is very strong this year and fortunately, we are pretty close friends. Our readiness and preparation is incredible and I cannot wait to kick off the 2021 season.”

 

Three-time W Series champ Jamie Chadwick joining Andretti in Indy NXT Series for 2023

2 Comments

Jamie Chadwick, the three-time W Series champion, will drive for Andretti Autosport in the Indy NXT Series next season.

Chadwick will make her debut in an American racing series in March, driving the No. 28 for Andretti Autosport with sponsorship from DHL. The 24-year-old will become the first female driver in 13 years to compete full time in the Indy NXT championship.

Chadwick joined the female free-to-enter W Series in its inaugural 2019 season, winning two races and the first of three consecutive championships. She has been a reserve driver for the Williams Formula One team and will continue in that role in 2023. She also has driven in the Extreme E Series.

Despite her success, Chadwick hasn’t landed a bigger ride in F3 or F2, and her break didn’t come until Michael Andretti contacted her and offered a test in an Indy NXT car.

The final three races of this year’s W Series schedule were canceled when funding fell through, but Chadwick still believes the all-female series was the right path for her.

“W Series has always been and will continue to be an opportunity to be racing for every female driver, so for my side, I looked at it while perhaps I would have liked to step up maybe earlier, at the same time being able to have that chance to race, get that experience, have that development, seat time… I was constantly learning,” Chadwick told The Associated Press.

“In that sense, I wasn’t frustrated at all. But on the flip side of it, now I’ve had that experience testing in the United States in Indy NXT and this is something I’m really excited about.”

Chadwick also is expected to have an enhanced role as a development driver next season with Williams, which chose American driver Logan Sargeant to fill its open seat on next year’s F1 grid.

“Andretti Autosport is proud to be supporting Jamie alongside DHL,” said Michael Andretti. “Jamie’s successful career speaks for itself, but Indy NXT gives Jamie the opportunity to continue her development in a new type of racing.

“We’ve turned out five Indy NXT champions over the years and look forward to continuing our role in developing new talent.”

Indy NXT is the new name of the rebranded Indy Lights Series, the final step on the ladder system before IndyCar.

Andretti will field two drivers next season in IndyCar that were developed in Indy NXT: Kyle Kirkwood, the 2021 champion, will return to Andretti after one season in IndyCar driving for A.J. Foyt Racing, and Devlin DeFrancesco is back for a second season.

Chadwick will be teammates in Indy NXT with Hunter McElrea and Louis Foster. She becomes Andretti’s second full-time female driver alongside Catie Munnings, who competes for Andretti United in the Extreme E Series.